Despite having tried several different designs during the thirties, Russia did not have any self-propelled artillery at the outbreak of World War 2. As most Russian tanks were obsolete at the time of the German invasion, all available factory capacity was used for tank production. Aside from the interim ZiS-30 self-propelled 57 mm anti-tank gun, it was not until November 1942 that the first self-propelled gun was designed.
The standard 76.2 mm ZiS-3 field gun was chosed as the main gun. Initially, it was attempted to use the T-60 chassis, but it proved too small to house the gun. In stead, a lengthened version of the T-70 chassis was used, adding a sixth roadwheel. The gun was placed in a fixed, open-topped, thinly-armored superstructure. The resulting vehicle was the SU-76. While inspired by the German assault guns, the design more closely resembled the Marder II. Initially, the SU-76 inherited the technical problems of the T-70. An improved version, the SU-76M, was designed, rectifying the problems.
By the time the SU-76M reached the field, it was already outclassed by the long-barreled Pz Kpfw III and Pz Kpfw IV, as well as the newly-arrived Tiger I. Despite the arrival of the better armed and armored SU-85, the SU-76M was remained in service throughout the war.
A total of 360 SU-76 and about 14 300 SU-76M were built from 1943 until 1945. After World War 2, a number of SU-76M served with the North Korean army during the Korean War. Several were sent to other communist countries as well.
|Armour (range)||10-35 mm|
|Speed (max)||45 km/h|
|Primary weapon||76,2 mm ZiS-3 (1)|